A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico

A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico

by Amy S. Greenberg
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A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico by Amy S. Greenberg

Often forgotten and overlooked, the U.S.-Mexican War featured false starts, atrocities, and daring back-channel negotiations as it divided the nation, paved the way for the Civil War a generation later, and launched the career of Abraham Lincoln. Amy S. Greenberg’s skilled storytelling and rigorous scholarship bring this American war for empire to life with memorable characters, plotlines, and legacies.   

When President James K. Polk compelled a divided Congress to support his war with Mexico, it was the first time that the young American nation would engage another republic in battle. Caught up in the conflict and the political furor surrounding it were Abraham Lincoln, then a new congressman; Polk, the dour president committed to territorial expansion at any cost; and Henry Clay, the aging statesman whose presidential hopes had been frustrated once again, but who still harbored influence and had one last great speech up his sleeve. Beyond these illustrious figures, A Wicked War follows several fascinating and long-neglected characters: Lincoln’s archrival John Hardin, whose death opened the door to Lincoln’s rise; Nicholas Trist, gentleman diplomat and secret negotiator, who broke with his president to negotiate a fair peace; and Polk’s wife, Sarah, whose shrewd politicking was crucial in the Oval Office.

This definitive history of the 1846 conflict paints an intimate portrait of the major players and their world. It is a story of Indian fights, Manifest Destiny, secret military maneuvers, gunshot wounds, and political spin. Along the way it captures a young Lincoln mismatching his clothes, the lasting influence of the Founding Fathers, the birth of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and America’s first national antiwar movement. A key chapter in the creation of the United States, it is the story of a burgeoning nation and an unforgettable conflict that has shaped American history.  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307475992
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/13/2013
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 287,197
Product dimensions: 5.36(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

Amy S. Greenberg is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Women's Studies at Penn State University. She is a leading scholar of Manifest Destiny and has held fellowships from the Huntington Library, the New-York Historical Society, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society. Her previous books include Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire and Cause for Alarm: The Volunteer Fire Department in the Nineteenth-Century City.

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A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing is clear and easy to read and the decisions and dilemmas faced by each of the profiled men involved really flesh out what went into our declaring war on a neighbor nation in contravention of everything that we had espoused before. It's a great way to tell the story. Being a San Franciscan, I enjoyed reading this book. There was more to that war than just acquiring dry desert land in the Southwest--there was the huge Pacific port of Yerba Buena on San Francisco Bay that the US government coveted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a close follower of Mexico and Mexican history I find this book very informative about all the U.S. politics behind the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War. Although an academic book, it is written in a style that is easy to read yet with considerable detail that does not weigh it down but rather spices it up. It is very informative about the political scene in the United States as this time in history. I recommend it highly. If you are a U.S. history or Mexican history buff you will really enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
American imperialism at its worst.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great resource for America hating, white guilted individuals who have no sense of well being and then must resort to separating themselves from reality to realize some sort of self worth.